Some 40 years ago, Philip K. Dick penned a story of dark times with flying cars and unstable androids who wanted a life of their own. Almost two decades later, Ridley Scott directed Blade Runner which was (surprisingly for Scott) a much diluted dystopia (guess PKD was a bit too much for him).
The film and the book both have many things to talk about — and this post is not really about them. There is one thing notable with recent news. The Spinner flying cars from the plot represented a futuristic vehicle that was capable of being driven over ground and flying through air. Sound was necessary for proper effects and the moving cars were shown to give off a high-pitched whistling noise (sound is important, check the Star Wars space ship noises and compare them to the 2001: A Space Odyssey silence). Many movies picked up this theme of flying cars and some even represented the sound made by these cars. One always wondered what sound advanced technologies would make as they replaced the engines of today.
Well, Nissan has taken a different problem to solve for their new silent electric and hybrid cars. You need to have some noise to make a car safe for the external world. Curiously, they decided to use the Spinner’s whistle for this.
We have seen a lot of technology inspired by science fiction, this is a different one.
Maybe we will see really silent glass lift doors with the StarTrek sound-effects to remind people when they operate.